| Alexis Mossa, the inventor of the cartoon of the Parade
In the history of the Carnival of Nice, the names of Alexis and Gustav-Adolf Mossa should be placed in the first rank of those who have worked for the prestige of this festival, because they knew how to create a popular quality art while maintaining the traditions. If Gustav-Adolf Mossa was, as well as he defined himself, " the popular art creator of King Carnival during more than sixty years, it is that the way had been opened to him by his father Alexis, one of the creators of the current carnival.
Indeed, after the creation of the Events committee in 1873, Alexis Mossa is going to take a series of initiatives of which some are still in place nowadays.
It is for him that we owe the albums of Carnival, the real comic strips of the grotesque processions (abolished in 1979). He appears at the right place in talented illustrators such as Jarnach, Emmanuel Brun or Comba.
He excels in the representations of Carnival, Buffoon or Triboulet, as the coverage of the album of Carnival in 1882, when Carnival X Triboulet goes out cheerfully and devilishly of his
Carnavalier, master of ceremony of the grotesque procession, Alexis Mossa gives us above all, most " invaluable testimonies, and with talent, of the first grotesque corsi.
In 1874, he realizes the model of the " float of the Madness ", but his work was welcomed with hesitation, because the hat worn by the madness was mixed up with the " phrygian " cap dear to the " sans culottes ".
- In 1875, Alexis Mossa paints the most famous picture of the history of the Carnival of Nice " La Ratapignata ". This work realized after the very lively events which enamelled the grotesque parade this year, collects all the protagonists who became famous during this famous " grotesque fight ".
He restores with talent, the force, the liveliness, the intensity of the challenge of Ratapignata to king Polichinelle and to Catherine Ségurane's float.
The devilish aspect of the Carnival is also evoked by Alexis Mossa in two of his works, notably the model of the float "Stove-building (1895)", pun on word, this picture is a forest of symbols. It is not without reminding in its conception the float of Ratapignata: about the same decoration, the manor house, with high fireplaces, on top of which little devils throws pieces of lungs in shape of heart, to black female cats with devilish eyes. From cat to bat, to Lilith, the subject of eternal relationship between men and women is approached with a lot of humour.
In 1893, Alexis Mossa "marries" S.M. Carnival, with a beautiful farmer of Gairaut, which henceforth will accompany, with some difficulties sometimes, her royal husband. A young page already appears in the royal procession of the marital unions of Her Majesty: it is about Gustav-Adolf, who will undergo, because of a jet of confettis of plaster in the face, during this parade, visual confusions fortunately without gravity, because he will recover from it quickly.
In 1895, the project of S. M's model. Carnival XXII is not retained by the events committee. Carnival came back from the Exhibition of Chicago in mail coach with the presents of Uncle Sam.
Alexis Mossa's name disappears bit by bit from tablets of Carnival, but family relief is assured.
From 1907 till 1971, G.A. Mossa was the spiritual father, the creator of official and other floats of the parade. Unlike his father, who participated also in the construction of floats and painted them, Gustav-Adolf remained the thinker of an exceptional universe where got involved mythological, traditional or grotesque subjects but where one finds also the genius of the symbolist painter for the period of Beautiful Time.
In some rare exceptions, Gustav-Adolf signed most of the models of Her Majesty Carnival. With his work, we can follow the evolution of the grotesque universe on a duration of more than sixty years.
The theme of the exploits of Her Majesty is varied. In the grotesque prints, the hero Carnival through its wanderings in the space and in the time embodies roles and different persons.
H.M. Carnival 1928 Gargantua, Inhabitant of Nice, traveller in the time and in the space, roisterer in search of leisure activities and of sun, Carnival carries out a journey - testimony, kaleidoscope of time and of an art which Gustav-Adolf knew how to heighten at the highest level.
In the wardrobe of Her Majesty, Triboulet's symbolic dresses, Gargantua and King Soleil, appear at the privileged moments.
Central figure in Alexis' work (in 1882 or 1894), Triboulet holds an original place with Gustav-Adolf, notably the one that, in 1931, is inspired by the dadaism and by the cubism.
If the cultural distance towards Nice becomes more marked in the time with the clothing carnival, on the other hand the attributes of Nice surround frequently the monarch, and To G.A. Mossa, big connoisseur of the history and the folklore nearly published never a ravioli, a cougourdon or farcial " Chicastrassa " in the side of his spiritual son.
Such this ravioli which holds Carnival (Persée) in 1914, at the end of its fork or representations of scenes typically of Nice as float of the socca, or orchestra of Tavan.
But the most of Nice suit is that of the fisherman; in 1923, in 1956 and in 1984, by allegiance to G.A. Mossa and to this subject, Carnival carries this even held 1956, royal fisherman, arrives on a boat named " Carnavalina " ~ evocation of this particular virus caught by carnavaliers to build their works and G.A. Mossa was crisp with a lot of humour in front of the "vessel", " Tanta Vitourina ", typical person of the popular theatre of Nice created by Francis Gag.
Gustav-Adolf Mossa worked so more than sixty years, in narrow collaboration with carnavaliers of Nice and quite particularly Sidro family. He was very worried about forms and about volumes which it was necessary to take into account for the architecture of floats and for the movement to be given to the models.
Gustav-Adolf Mossa left us in 1971; doubtless he joined Saturn and the other grotesque majesties which reign in this famous realm of " the golden age ", the land of plenty.